COVID-19 Pandemic – When is it Safe to Go to the Dentist?

Pursuing the Perfect Smile

COVID-19 Pandemic – When is it Safe to Go to the Dentist?

Dentists have always followed strict guidelines to protect the health and safety of patients. Dr. Stephen Petinge, as a dental healthcare provider, will continue to follow the recommendations of the American Dental Association (ADA) the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As your Peabody and North Boston Area dentist, we have been seeing patients to provide dental care on a case-by-case and emergency basis as needed.  However, services are only offered if you are feeling well and are not displaying any Covid-19 symptoms such as shortness of breath, persistent cough, or a fever.

New Check-in Policies for Dental Care During Covid-19

When you visit your Peabody, MA dentist, check-in may look a bit different than before the pandemic. We have instituted new policies and we will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

  • We will be making hand sanitizer available to all patients in the office
  • There will be no magazines or toys in the waiting area as they cannot be sanitized
  • We will be optimizing appointment times to follow social distancing guidelines
  • All team members will be wearing additional PPE (personal protective equipment)

Precautions Petinge Dental is Taking to Prevent the Spread of Infection

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, our dental office took precautions to ensure the safety of our patients as well as our dental team. We observe strict infection control measures that follow the guidelines put forth by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). We will continue to observe these types of practices.

  • Sanitizing Best Practices: Our personnel regularly cleans all public spaces in our offices. This includes restrooms, waiting rooms, and treatment rooms.
  • Use of Disinfectant Sprays: We apply medical-grade disinfectants to operator rooms after each patient has been seen per the guidelines set forth by the CDC and OSHA. This includes spraying all high-touch areas like chairs, equipment, and counters.
  • Protective Barriers: We place protective barriers on armrests, overhead lights, suction tips, computer keyboards, and curing lights.
  • Sterilizing Dental Instruments: We sterilize our dental instruments after each patient. Protocols issued by the CDC are strictly observed ensuring dental instruments are properly sterilized.

Other Questions About Dental Care During Covid-19

Patients have many questions as we’ve watched the spread of Covid-19 in the state of Massachusetts. Here are the most common questions we hear and our answers to them.

Is it dangerous to go to the dentist during the pandemic?

Dr. Petinge and the staff at our dental office will continue to adhere to best practices when it comes to your dental care. We also follow closely the guidelines provided by the ADA, CDC, OSHA, and applicable state and federal regulations. Our goal is to make sure you and your family receive safe and compassionate care. If for some reason we are not able to safely render dental care to your or your family, we will keep you updated and informed.

Is Petinge Dental taking any extra precautions during this time?

Yes. We are aware of the seriousness of the pandemic and are doing our due diligence to prevent its spread. Our staff understands the need to stay home if they are showing any symptoms including difficulty breathing, sneezing, coughing, or running a fever. Team members who have traveled to a Level 2 or 3 region per the CDC’s classification are required to self-quarantine before they can come to work. We are also encouraging our staff members to refrain from traveling during this time.

We are also implementing screening procedures for patients. Each patient is screened when they make an appointment with us, and when they arrive at our dental office, so please understand the questions we ask are to ensure your safety, the safety of our other patients, and the safety of the dental team. We are also implementing more space between patient appointments.

Should I reschedule dental treatments?

In general, there is no need for rescheduling dental appointments for routine exams and treatment. However, if you come into close contact with someone who has traveled to a region with a large outbreak of Covid-19, if you’ve been exposed to the virus, or been around someone who is quarantined due to exposure, then you should wait 14 days for a dental appointment. If you are healthy, you do not need to reschedule your regular dental appointments. We will reach out to you if there is some other reason the appointment needs to be rescheduled.

Contact Our Offices

If you have more questions about Covid-19 and dental care, please contact our office. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. If you have a dental concern or a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to call us to ask how to best proceed. Once we have established and normalized new routines and begin opening the office to more than emergency procedures, we still suggest you schedule routine exams twice a year as part of your preventative dental care.